Change is in the Air

Fall is a time of visual and tangible change. We see the change in foliage colors, we enjoy the cooler and often dryer air. A new school year has begun – a new football season!

For Operation Inasmuch significant change began last October 2018 when Executive Director, John Daugherty, shared with our board of directors that he planned to retire December 2019. That announcement began several months of transition.

“Inasmuch Champions”: Mike Pearce (AL), Kathy Hughes (VA), Susie Reeder (NC), Paul Langston (NC), and Walter Taylor (TN)

To work through the year of transition, we recruited very strategically for the incoming board members with an emphasis on good leadership skills. The board then made two very positive, strategic decisions. First, it was determined to secure the services of an organizational and leadership coach. Ircel Harrison of Murfreesboro, TN with Pinnacle Leadership Associates contracted with the board to help with thinking through what Inasmuch hoped to be in the next few years and to evaluate what was most important for moving in that direction. Ircel suggested a full-day retreat with the board along with some “Inasmuch Champions” recruited from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee who have been strong leaders and supporters over the years. That retreat was held on March 2, 2019 and proved to be of significant value in the transition process.

The second strategic decision was to contract with the Alliance for Better Nonprofits in Knoxville to help lead the executive search process. Elle Benson of ABN worked with the board in fine-tuning the job description along with professional and faith expectations. She was very instrumental in spreading the job opening among their vast network of other nonprofits, in addition to utilizing other ministry and professional networks associated with Inasmuch. In all we received over 70 responses to the job announcement. Given the clear directives for how to apply, there were over 20 who made the cut to be reviewed. The board reviewed and rated those using a matrix developed by ABN and narrowed the field down to four candidates who were invited for the first round of interviews.

The first interviews were conducted on Tuesday, July 16. Each candidate was interviewed by the full board and staff, the candidate then met with directors, John and David, along with board president, David Renfro. The board had a debriefing before the next interview. This was an all-day process which proved to be very fruitful.

There was unanimous agreement on the top candidate but not on the next one or two. The board decided to have the top candidate back for a second interview and depending on how that went, a decision was then made about whether to invite back any of the other three.

Gene Whaley, Executive Director of Kingswood Home for Children in Bean Station, TN, was invited for a second interview held on July 29. After his time with the board and staff, it was decided, again unanimously, to offer him the position of Executive Director of Operation Inasmuch. Gene has accepted the offer and will officially begin his work with Inasmuch on October 22 traveling with John to Fayetteville, NC to be part of the annual donor event that evening at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church.

Gene brings with him strength in nonprofit organizational development and fundraising, along with a deep commitment to seeing churches energized to be the hands and feet of Christ through compassion ministry. He is a strong lay leader in his church in Morristown, TN and has a heart for the “least of these.” Gene wrote, “In my current position of leadership and throughout most of my adult professional life, I have sought to serve families and children, usually ones that would be considered the least of these. This should be the heartbeat of the Church as we go about doing God’s work.”

Undergirding this entire process has been the faithful prayers from our friends and supporters, and particularly the Inasmuch Prayer Team. At every strategic stage the Prayer Team was invited to bathe that particular process in prayer. We believe, without doubt, the entire process and the new director are the direct result of faithful prayer.

Thanks be to God!

Faithful Inasmuch Church Rises from the Ashes

2015 fire @ Bethlehem Baptist

Just weeks after completing their seventh year of conducting an Inasmuch Day on July 18, 2015, most of Bethlehem Baptist Church of Taylorsville, NC was destroyed by fire. All that was left was the lower part of the fellowship hall. For several months while smoke damage was repaired, the church met at a nearby elementary school. However, before the year was over, they were able to meet again on the church property in what was left and salvaged of the fellowship area.

For over four years the church continued to make do while new facilities were built and on Sunday, August 4, 2019 the new sanctuary was dedicated and fully in use. Through those years of rebuilding from the ashes, the church continued to faithfully conduct their annual Inasmuch Day. As coordinator, Milton Good, said, “we never once thought about not doing Operation Inasmuch. It is so much a part of who we are and what we do. It is fulfilling one of Jesus’ commands from Matthew 25:40…to do unto the least of these.” [Read more…]

Statistics… And Why They Matter

As a whole, people think they don’t like statistics and question how much they matter. Honestly, in some instances, statistics can be and are manipulated. For church leaders, if we’re not careful, too much emphasis can be placed on numbers, especially if we forget to associate those numbers with people.

Operation Inasmuch works to gather reports from churches and organizations who conduct Inasmuch Days and/or Inasmuch United events. Most churches help us with sharing their statistics; others wonder why we need or want them and question why anyone needs to know what they are achieving through compassion ministry in their own communities.

I should confess I like statistics. I believe they help us get a glimpse of the impact our efforts are having through ministry and serving. They help us see where we can improve. They help tell the story of Jesus’ followers seeking to “serve the un-served, love the un-loved, and reach the un-churched” through compassion ministry. [Read more…]

20% Increase in Attendance… WOW!

I don’t know of any church or church leader who wouldn’t want to experience a 20% increase in attendance. In less than a month after a compassion ministry project in their community, Union City Baptist Church, in a rural farming community near Richmond, KY, has reported their experience of that increase following an Inasmuch event conducted in September of this year. 

Union City Baptist has been conducting Inasmuch Days and Inasmuch United events with a neighboring church since its first effort in the spring of 2016. After that first Inasmuch Day the church committed to conducting two Inasmuch events each year – one in the spring and one in the fall. From May 2016 through September 2018 the church has produced a total of 200 volunteers who have worked over 1,600 hours on 21 projects. They have served nearly 1,200 of their neighbors at a community value of almost $41,000.

Those are the kinds of statistics a church can amass when it commits to be the hands, feet, eyes and heart of Jesus in their own communities. Union City Baptist has been averaging around 100 each week in worship and between 40-45 in Bible study before their last Inasmuch Day. In the weeks since, the church has experienced an increase of around 20 people each Sunday in both worship and Sunday School. “God is working in our church family and in our community,” according to Inasmuch church coordinator, Bill Hendricks. Bill added, “I believe people are impressed when churches work together and when they see men, especially, leading and serving.” In the Spring the Baptist church joins its neighbor Christian church in conducting projects involving all ages working together. [Read more…]

International Expressions of Operation Inasmuch

First Eastside Baptist Church Inasmuch Day

On Saturday August 4, I had the privilege of meeting Pastor Khem Arcojada, his mother, Aida, from the Philippines, and his sister and her family who now live in Virginia. Khem is the pastor of First Eastside Baptist Church in Valencia City, Bukidnon, Philippines where his father was the pastor until his death. The Arcojadas were in the US visiting family and were able to drop by to see our offices and to share how Inasmuch impacted their church and their community.

David Smith, formerly of the Radford area of Virginia, introduced the Inasmuch model in the Philippines and sponsored the Inasmuch Day at First Eastside in Valencia City. David now lives in the Philippines with his wife and her family.

Earlier in the summer we received a report from Rwenzori Organization for Children Living Under Difficult Circumstances (ROCDiC) in Kasese, Uganda. The first contact we had with Ivan, the director of the ministry for refugee young people, was a request for Operation Inasmuch shirts for them to wear as they served another ministry in their area. In early June the staff and residents of ROCDiC wanted to give back and chose to conduct an Inasmuch Day by serving the Burumbika Health Center. They completed several projects around the grounds and facilities there. View pictures from their event here. [Read more…]

Simply Show Up

Sometimes, all we need to do is share a story. Thanks to our friend, Hal Melton, Associate Pastor of Missions and Senior Adults at Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC for sharing this wonderful testimony from Rev. Elizabeth Burgess and the project she led on their Inasmuch Day April 25 of this year.

 

“Prior to departing for our Inasmuch Wake Med adventure, our group gathered to momentarily reflect on why we were going. More than a project, it was our hope that this morning would bring opportunities to share the love of God and the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Together we acknowledged that failure to bear and share fruit in the Christian life is to keep others from being blessed as God intended.

As it turned out, I believe our hospital visit that morning was on the calendar long before any one of us knew we would be going. Among our first encounters was a family going through a crisis. A member of our group found these weary and worn souls camping out in the critical care waiting area. For them, a warm breakfast provided much needed comfort and sustainment. Our team members with the gift of hospitality were quick to serve. Others stepped up to offer words of encouragement. [Read more…]

Leaving Our Mark on the Community

West Cabarrus Church in Concord, NC is one of dozens of churches who conducted an Inasmuch Day as part of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention statewide emphasis held the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May this year. From as early as 2013 the church has found that Operation Inasmuch is a valuable tool for mobilizing large numbers of their members into the community.

“West Cabarrus Church is a regional church, drawing members from a large area near the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Concord Mills Mall and we wanted to draw our circle a bit tighter to minister to those who live closest to us,” according to Pastor to Students and Families, Charlie Cole who served as the event coordinator. He continued, “we found a trailer park very near the church housing primarily Hispanic families and concentrated a large part of our work there deploying 40 or more volunteers to work on five homes.”

In addition to doing landscaping, light house repair, both inside and outside of these homes, and sharing food the church’s Missions and Hispanic pastor, Pastor David Bogran, along with some of the members of the Hispanic ministry, WCC Espanol, went door-to-door offering to pray with the families and sharing the good news of Jesus. In just that one neighborhood they experienced seven residents who accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. “There were fifteen people from that neighborhood who attended the services of WCC Espanol the Sunday after the project!” Pastor Cole rejoiced. [Read more…]

Compassion Revolution is Springing Up All Over

Do you keep up with Operation Inasmuch on Facebook and other social media sites? If not, you’re missing out on the amazing Compassion Revolution that is taking place in so many towns, states, and countries.

You can see pictures and read about Inasmuch Days from Moon’s Chapel Baptist of Siler City, NC; St. Andrew’s Lutheran of Columbia, SC; Immanuel Baptist of Nashville, TN; Campbell University of Buies Creek, NC; and Ferry Farm Baptist of Fredericksburg, VA just to name a few. You’ll also see pictures of Inasmuch United events from Fort Myers, FL; Sweetwater, TN; Hope Hull, AL; and Weaverville, NC. There is even a report and pictures from First Eastside Baptist in Valencia City, Philippines!

Volunteers from Moon’s Chapel Baptist.

In addition to Inasmuch Days, there are also reports from various meal packing events. These events prepare the ready-to-heat meals for Guatemalan orphanages and for local distribution. Just this spring, Inasmuch has helped conduct meal packing events at Vestavia Hills Baptist of Birmingham, AL; Heritage Baptist of Cartersville, GA; First Baptist of Sweetwater, TN; and the Ball Camp Baptist and Inasmuch United Knoxville meal packing events in Knoxville, TN.

We are honored to share the stories of the wonderful events where the church leaves the building and connects with their communities in redemptive and hopeful ways. There are hundreds of churches providing thousands of volunteers who put in tens of thousands of hours and touch hundreds of thousands of their neighbors’ lives by being Christ in practical ways. These events give hope, introduce eternal life in Christ, and make powerful impacts on their communities worth literally millions of dollars every year. [Read more…]

It’s Conference Time!

Operation Inasmuch, Inc. is hosting the first Compassion Revolution Network Conference August 2-4, 2018 in Knoxville TN. We’ve mailed out nearly 2,000 Conference brochures, have been posting information on our Facebook page and website www.operationinasmuch.org, AND NOW, the conference website is up and running where you can learn more, register, and make hotel reservations at www.compassionrevolutionconference.com.

On Friday and Saturday of the conference we will be offering over 30 break-out sessions featuring George Bullard of Faith-Soaring Churches and the Columbia Metro Baptist Association in Columbia, SC, Eddie Hammett of Transforming Solutions, and Mark Tidsworth of Pinnacle Leadership Associates, all leading church consultants and coaches sharing thoughts and ideas about mobilizing congregations into the future. There will also be sessions led by Executive Director, John Daugherty, and Founder, David Crocker, about various aspects of Operation Inasmuch. We have other great presenters addressing various outreach and ministry opportunities. There will be several sessions with panel discussions on Inasmuch project and promotion ideas, managing Inasmuch United, and more from Inasmuch experiences.

But we still want to hear from you! We have some folks lined up for the panel discussions, but we’d like to extend an invitation for more of you to serve on a panel discussion group. If you have great project ideas, thoughts on funding, really creative promotion ideas, or have been involved in Inasmuch United in your communities we’d like to hear from you and have you participate. [Read more…]

NC Churches Experience Renewal Through Inasmuch

2018 marks the 10th year of North Carolina Baptist Missions partnering with Operation Inasmuch in an every-other-year, state-wide emphasis and regional training events. Beginning January 27 through March 3, 2018, there will be regionalInasmuch Day training events for each of the ten regions designated within the Missions Department of the Convention. Executive Director, John Daugherty, and Founder, David Crocker, will be conducting these events.

Logan and John at a 2016 NC training event.

The relationship between Operation Inasmuch and the NC Baptist State Convention actually began in the late1990’s when Dr. Crocker was senior pastor at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, Fayetteville, NC. He along other church leaders designed the model for an Inasmuch Day event. Snyder Memorial has continued to lead the annual “Blitz” Inasmuch Day for 22 years which has now become a large United event involving as many as 20 other churches in the Fayetteville area. Within two or three years of designing the model, there was growing interest in sharing the model throughout the state of NC. [Read more…]